The Marriage Project Review and Giveaway (Week in Books #15)

In her fun and helpful book The Marriage Project, Kathi Lipp suggests putting your marriage on “project status” for 21 days – that is, making it a priority for both spouses to do one thing every day to strengthen your marriage and put the fun back in it. For each day there is a manageable project, a little background on the reasoning behind that project, some testimonials from couples who tried it, a prayer suggestion, and a place to record your reaction/response to the project. Kathi suggests making a detailed plan in advance so you can put the projects on your calendar, which I think goes a long way toward actually getting them accomplished if you’re busy and tired like most of us are.

I thought the projects seemed doable and worthwhile – like making a point to do something you enjoyed doing together before you got married, cooking together, writing down things you appreciate or admire about your mate, taking over a duty your spouse dislikes or is burnt out from, and so forth.  Basically it’s about making time for your spouse and putting more effort into your marriage.  I think any marriage could benefit from a short project like this.

Kathi‘s writing style is funny and laid-back, so I think you’ll find the book enjoyable and a fun read. The Marriage Project is not a theological treatise on marriage, or a theoretical book about the institution, rather it’s a very practical set of things you can actually do starting today to make your marriage stronger, no matter what point you’re starting from.  I found the book very hopeful and helpful and I would recommend it to you even if you’ve been blessed with a solid marriage.

If you’d like to try The Marriage Project for yourself, you can enter to win your very own copy!  Just leave a comment telling us one fun and affordable idea for a date night and you’ll be entered to win a copy of the book.

Note: This giveaway has now ended.

For additional entries, you can subscribe to A Spirited Mind in a reader, subscribe by email, become a fan of A Spirited Mind on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter (leave an additonal comment for each additional entry).  I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner next Friday afternoon.

Disclosure: Kathi Lipp and Harvest House sent me a review copy of The Marriage Project and will send a copy of the book to the giveaway winner, but the opinions expressed in this review are my own.  This post does contain affiliate links, and you can read more about that and my policy on accepting review copies in my Disclosure Policy.

55 thoughts on “The Marriage Project Review and Giveaway (Week in Books #15)

  1. One of my favourite ‘stay at home’ dates with my husband is to have an indoor picnic. We put a blanket down in the middle of the living room floor and have a romantic picnic from the large wicker picnic hamper we received as a wedding present. All the food for this can be prepared well in advance, so you’re not spending half the date in the kitchen! I haven’t done this in ages…we should probably do it again!

    (Not sure if your giveaways extend to overseas. I fully understand if they don’t…postage is probably astronomical!)

  2. James and I love to go get a coffee and then go to the library. We read around the fireplace in the quiet and the date costs about $7.00. It’s cheap and something we both enjoy doing together.

  3. A favorite weeknight date idea of ours is to wait until after the kids are in bed, then lights some candles and eat a more grown-up dinner – a special dish or two if I have the time to make it!

  4. Hmmm… date nights are def something we need to do more of… 🙂

    We really like to pop some popcorn and watch a good movie. Not very inventive, I know, but we enjoy it. 🙂

    Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  5. One way we make date nights more affordable is to set up a babysitting swap with another couple, usually the 2nd and 4th Saturday nights of each month. Not only do we save the money otherwise spent on childcare, but we also have a date on the calendar to make sure we get out for that one-on-one time. I love having the anticipation of date night. Also, I try to keep my eyes open for coupons and promotions for area restaurants to cut the cost of the meal.

    (I’m Elizabeth Faris’ sister and found your blog through Amy Koons’ blog. I love your blog, especially your thoughts on preschool education. Keep up the good posts!)

  6. In the summer we used to do “date night” at a makeshift movie theater. We’d put up two lawn chairs in the back yard, project a movie onto the side of our house, and just enjoy the weather and good flick. We haven’t done that in YEARS, so maybe that’s something we can get back to this summer!

  7. Our son is 8 weeks old now so we are in need of more time right now, but life is good so I shouldn’t complain. We enjoy roller skating and did so on our first date. It would be nice to get to go again soon.

  8. It sounds simple, but one of our favorite things to do together is just go take a walk around the neighborhood. For some reason it loosens our lips and gets us chatting about ourselves, our life together, goals, concerns, really anything.

    Another of our favorite things to do is read together. We did this when we were dating in college, when we were first married, and have recently picked it up again.

  9. We love planning an “at home” date night too–no babysitter required! He puts the kids to bed–sometimes early, sometimes not–and I break out our “date night” china (we got a few placesettings just for this reason) and make a simple but special meal (though fun takeout could work too!) And then we eat a relaxed meal during which we can truly have deep conversation.

    And we also love “dream” dates–going somewhere to discuss plans or ideals for some project or need we have. A house project might take us to Menard’s or Lowe’s to dream/plan the work or an organizational or financial project might take us to a coffee shop or library.

  10. If you need a cheap activity to do with your husband or your family for that matter, check out letterboxing. We love to do this together as a family but have done it on our own as well. It’s basically a treasure hunt. All you need is a small notebook, a rubber stamp and an inkpad or markers. Someone leaves clues online to find a box that has a rubber stamp in it. You hike to find it and collect the stamps in your notebook, and you stamp in the logbook that is in the box to prove that you found it. Sounds simplistic but we have an awesome time every time we go. Go to to find out more.

  11. Let’s see — cheap date. Well, when we were first married we would go and get fastfood and sit in the car on Saturday nights and listen to Garrison Koehler. We haven’t done that in about 9 years, but we are waiting for the chance just for old time’s sake to do it again!

    Otherwise, it’s usually Half Price Books or Barnes and Nobles that is a traditional date-night stop.

  12. Our cheap date night is putting the kids to bed, cuddling on the couch with some yummy dessert and redbox movie-usually free with a code!

  13. Our favorite cheap date is going out to eat. But, how is that cheap? Simple. We receive lots of restaurant gift cards from our families for Christmas. We save them and once every couple of months we ask (or beg!) my Mom to keep our girls and go out to enjoy a quiet, peaceful meal. A meal that doesn’t involve spilled milk, lots of “I don’t like this” and did I mention peace and quiet?

  14. Well, this is nothing too original, but last week my husband and I got to go on a date thanks to a church-sponsored Parents’ Night Out. We picked up a $5 footlong sandwich at Subway, brought along some chips we already had, and went to a park and sat on a log to eat our dinner. Then we came home and played Scrabble and Sequence (at the same time) and ate ice cream (which is a treat that we don’t indulge in very often, so it was special).

  15. Ok one really fun thing we have done it a treasure hunt. It takes a little prep work but is it a blast! Run around your neighborhood (or city or where ever you choose) and hide clues. Have a prize (a picnic basket full of goodies or a couple of baseball gloves and a ball for example) at the end.

  16. Cheap date night: leave the kids with grandma and grandpa, use coupons from the entertainment book for dinner at a local mexican restaurant and amc theater. (That is our most recent one.)

  17. My husband and I like to go on reminisce dates–driving around town to our special places. It only costs gas, and usually an ice cream treat at the end!

  18. My husband and I both love houses. Sometimes we just get in the car or go for a walk and look at houses. Not expensive, but very fun for us!

  19. It’s hard to get a date when your husband is an intern and on call every 3 or 4 nights!
    Without babysitting……I just got a ‘new’ bike, with a front-mounted kid seat for Lucy Bea. We enjoy going as a family, and John and I still get time to talk since we’re not following Lucy all over the place.
    If we do have babysitting…..the hotel down the street has a live latin band in their lobby every Friday and Saturday night. No cover charge, you don’t even have to buy a drink (if you don’t want to)….just free dancing in a beautiful venue!

  20. When we don’t have babysitting, we love to make some popcorn and watch a Netflix movie after the kids go to bed. If we have babysitting, we love going out to do errands that are just not that fun with little kids like going to Lowes! It’s so fun to take our time walking the aisles and really being able to talk about our house projects with no interruptions!

  21. One of my fave date nights is when we have the house to our selves and we just relax on the couch and watch a movie together. Sometimes we talk all night! Dreaming about things we want to accomplish together makes it really magical.

  22. Go through your cookbooks and choose a recipe together, then shop for ingredients and come home and prepare dinner as a couple!

  23. My husband is an early to bed man so we have Saturday afternoon movie dates. I pick up a movie for us and one for my four year old son. While my son watches his me and hubby watch ours with limited interuptions.

  24. Once a month my mother will take our two boys to her home to spend the night. We will usually go out to a late movie or stay home with a movie. It is so nice to be able to stay out late and sleep in the next morning. It makes a feel like a dating carefree couple 🙂

  25. One of my fave date nights is when we have the house to our selves and we just relax on the couch and watch a movie together. Sometimes we talk all night! Dreaming about things we want to accomplish together makes it really magical.

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